Chicago Blackhawks sign Nigerian-born Akim Aliu to three-year contract

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks have signed right wing Akim Aliu to a three-year contract, the club announced Monday.

Aliu, 19, was ranked third on the OHL’s London Knights with a career-high 61 points (28 goals, 33 assists) and 133 penalty minutes in 60 games last season.

Born in Okene, Nigeria, Aliu was raised in Ukraine until he was seven before moving to Toronto in the mid-90’s.

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Chicago’s third choice (56th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Aliu made his professional debut last year, posting two penalty minutes in two contests with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Aliu notched 58 goals, 123 points and 316 penalty minutes in 160 career regular-season OHL tilts with the Windsor Spitfires (2005-06), Sudbury Wolves (2005-07) and Knights.